On the surface this is certainly not helpful if the report is true –but note that the anonymous reporter does not say when or where Abe made the remarks – could be some disinformation by someone who wants to discredit Abe and stir up more friction in Northeast Asia.
Japan's prime minister calls South Korea a 'foolish country': magazine report
Friday, 15 November, 2013, 2:08pm
Audrey Yoo firstname.lastname@example.org
"Korea is a foolish country that isnt able to negotiate", says Abe, according to Japanese magazine report
South Korean internet users are fuming after a conservative Japanese magazine reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had called South Korea a "foolish country".
"China is an absurd country but it still knows diplomacy. Korea is a foolish country that isn't even able to negotiate," said Abe, according to a report published on Thursday in the Shukan Bunshun.
The article, entitled “Striking Korea’s weakness,” also revealed that Abe thought South Korean President Park Geun-hye was opposed to Japan because she had “treacherous subjects”, led by Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, around her.
The report, written by an anonymous reporter, did not describe when or where Abe had made the comments.
Tokyo has not released a statement on the article but was aware of the story and should the government make a statement it will be posted on the foreign ministry's website, the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong told the South China Morning Post.
Japan recently considered implementing unofficial economic sanctions against South Korea in response to a recent court ruling requiring Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Korean workers who were conscripted by Japan during the second world war, said the article.
On Thursday, however, Abe met with South Korean lawmakers in Tokyo and said he wanted to talk to President Park before the end of the year to normalise ties between the two nations, which have been tense due to a maritime territorial dispute and what Seoul sees as Japan’s attempt to whitewash its wartime atrocities.
The discrepancy between the article and Abe's public remarks has raised questions about the credibility of Shukan Bunshun, the most well-known conservative weekly magazine in Japan.
Nationalistic Japanese media outlets take advantage of anti-Korean sentiment and write dubious stories short on facts to boost circulation, argued South Korean media.
“Shukan Bunshun’s article worsens Korea-Japan relations and we express our serious concerns,” said a statement released on Friday by a group of Korean lawmakers visiting Japan this week.
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